God Works in Thrift Stores

You may not know this about me, but I am an unashamed thrift store fanatic! Frugal forager is my nick name.  You might say that I’m a junkie for junk (okay, you might not say that, but you get the point). If I can see that there is a bargain to be made, I am all in. Wherever I have lived in my life, some of the first places I have found in my vicinity are the thrift stores (or “charity shops” as they are called here in Scotland).

Today I had some errands to run as I waited for Mary to finish ladies class. I finished early and had time to kill. It just so happened that I was passing by the best charity shop that East Kilbride has to offer. I have built up a good reputation with the volunteer workers there, and today was no exception. As I entered, I noticed the manager was having a conversation with two teenage boy volunteers.

The moment she saw me she said, “Now here’s a guy that can help you get to church!” Needless to say, I was surprised at this greeting. One of the two young men she was speaking with seemed even more surprised than I was. The manager knows me and little about the nature of our work (that I am an evangelist who runs a youth outreach). So I quickly introduced myself to the boys (Declan and Jordan) and got to the bottom of “how I could help.” Declan apparently had come into work today saying that God had done nothing for him and that God was the cause for the pain and trouble in the world. The manager had apparently been trying to talk some sense into him and was fed up with him by the time I arrived.

Declan began to tell me his trouble concerning God and his utter frustration with all the unanswered questions he has. He explained to me, “I pray to God and I go to Mass, but God doesn’t do anything for me! He doesn’t care about me! What has God ever done for me?” Declan believed we have no free will, explaining that any action we make is known beforehand by God; therefore, we have no choice. These were all amazing questions asked by a young man who is desperate to find the truth. We spoke for nearly two hours while sitting on second-hand couches! Declan seemed bewildered yet intrigued by the concept of simply following the Bible. His accusations of God slowly ceased, and he ended up giving God credit for our chance meeting! I wish you could have been a fly on the wall during this conversation. With this in mind, flies might be common in a place like a thrift store. Despite this, it has become evident to me that God can work in insignificant places – even thrift stores.

Please pray for Declan and Jordan as they are both searching for the truth. They have expressed interest in attending the youth outreach and we have exchanged information. May God continue to work in their lives as He has continually shown He works in mine.


~ by harphouse on August 16, 2011.

One Response to “God Works in Thrift Stores”

  1. Richard,
    That is a great story. When we have our eyes open to the opportunities before us, we can do great things in God’s service. I will be praying for these two young men.

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